I don’t want regret at age 70!

“So interesting for you to talk about that! My biggest thing is that I don’t want regret! A lot of 80 year olds often start their sentences with, I Wish“. 

This is how a conversation, between a friend and myself at 1:30AM in the morning, went over WhatsApp. She shared a blank image overlaid with very moving words, it struck me. I felt as though she somehow knew that I needed the message — at that point in time!

After she told me her views on inertia, I then typed to her, “I don’t wanna be that guy!” Referring to the regretful dude who looks back at his life with eyes full of tears. Disappointment on self over chances not taken. I don’t want regret at age 70!

One of the reasons I feel most people never live up to who they really are. Or how they really wish to live is the mental prisons they build and lock themselves in. In the form of the famous reservation: “What are other people going to say?”

So you fail to live at your heart’s content because well, someone else is watching and they are going to judge you? Right? That’s what you think? And it is totally understandable why you would feel this way. I get it! I was at that point for a looong time, too. 

However, I wanna say the following to you, I recall reading a striking thought somewhere (pardon, the source has escaped my memory) about something similar. But what I read moved me to think deeply and etch this in my mind:

At a young age, teen age years, we obsess about wanting to be liked. In our early 20’s we care too much for what other people think of us. And at 30 years old — if later, at 40 — we stop caring about what people think of us. We cease to let that control us. Life begins at 40, right? Well, some say. At age 60, we realise people have not been paying attention to us at all!

To add to our woes, we get caught up wanting, ever so desperately, to be safe that we never fully live!

My mind was happy having had such a conversation that morning. I am a sucker for engagement with depth. So, on this topic, I summed it up thus…

This is what will hurt the most: when you look back, say, 50 years later, and realise it was waaay easier to be great than you thought. Just like after 7 months out of high school you begin realising that getting only four distinctions at least was waaay easier than you thought!

I don’t want regret at age 70!

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THEMBA JAY,
Communicate Your Genius